Canon rates the i-SENSYS MF4780w at 23ppm, which is a very respectable speed. Under test, we got quite close to this, with a maximum speed of 19.7ppm from the 20-page text print. The five-page tests gave 15.0ppm and 13.6ppm for the text and text and graphics documents, respectively. A 15 x 10cm photo on an A4 sheet took just 10s.
The spec sheet also claims fast first page out and this was reflected in the speeds we saw for our copy tests. A single page copy from the flatbed glass took an impressive 10s, while five-page copy from the ADF completed in 25s, which is again very quick.
The quality of those fast prints is very good, with black text coming out particularly sharp and well-defined. Greyscale graphics show no banding, though there is a slight problem with the different colours producing the same greyscales – this can be a problem with colour-coded charts, for example.
Copies of greyscale originals showed considerable blotchiness, though no worse than from other CIS scanners. A photo print was reasonably smooth for a mono laser print, though darker shades were nearly black.
Although the measured peak noise level for this machine was 62dBA, this doesn’t reflect the sustained noise which, subjectively, is quite high. Particular when copying, it really isn’t a machine you’d want to talk on the phone next to. Perhaps this is a reason for Canon including a quiet mode. Quiet mode reduces the noise level significantly, by running the print mechanism more slowly.
The drum and toner cartridge is only available in one, 2,100 page capacity and, at the best price we could find, gives a page cost of 2.9p, including 0.7p for paper. Anything below 3p per page from a laser is reasonable, though 2.9p isn’t the best price we’ve seen from this class of machine.
The Canon i-SENSYS MF4780w is a good, wireless laser all-in-one. It prints quickly, though has no duplex, and produces very good text and above average graphics and costs under 3p per page to run. It’s a bit noisy when printing, but has a slower, quieter mode, can connect wirelessly to a network, and can print to mobile devices.